Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Kat's Top TIFF Picks

Not to be outdone by Jeff, here is my list of most anticipated TIFF 2010 titles. I tried very hard to whittle it down to only ten, with five honourable mentions, listed below, all of which overlap with Jeff's list anyway.

A Horrible Way to Die
Adam Wingard | USA
Ever since Jeff brought Wingard's Pop Skull to Toronto's Over the Top Fest a few years back, I have been curious about what he'd do next. This story of a serial killer who escapes from prison and a woman whose past is slowly catching up with her sounds intriguing and clever. Penned by Simon Barrett, who was last at TIFF with 2004's Dead Birds.

The Butcher, The Chef and The Swordsman
Dao Jian Xiao | Hong Kong, China
The first film in Midnight Madness from mainland China is about a kitchen cleaver forged out of the swords of the world's top martial artists. If it really is like Ashes of Time meets God of Cookery meets Tampopo, then I can't wait to go for 2:00am food in Chinatown after the screening.

Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Werner Herzog | USA
Herzog. 3D. Some 3000 year old cave paintings. It sounds too good to be true, doesn't it?

Denis Côté | Canada
Last year Denis Côté delivered Canada's most fascinating film of the year with the strange and compelling documentary-ish Carcasses. This year, he returns with something the TIFF guide refers to as 'accessible' - a portrait of a single dad in rural Quebec who has a deep love of curling. Perfect.

Cirkus Columbia
Danis Tanović | Bosnia & Herzegovina
I thought 2001's No Man's Land was just about the best film ever made about the disintegration of my homeland. Tanović has been making a name for himself outside of Bosnia since, with films like L'Enfer and Triage. Now he's actually back in the old country for the first time since his '01 Oscar winner. I can't wait.

Erotic Man
Jørgen Leth | Denmark
Remember The Five Obstructions, that amazing documentary in which Lars von Trier tries to make his mentor/idol make a shitty film by imposing absurd obstructions onto him, only to be frustrated every time by the master's ability to create something wonderful? Well, the master is back with a feature that's touted in the TIFF guide as his "most radical and personal work", an exploration of aging, loss and of course, sex.

Our Day Will Come
Romain Gavras | France
The image in the programme book has a bald-headed Vincent Cassel surrounded by glum looking redheaded children. I don't need much more than this to be convinced to see this "hallucinatory quest for a land of imagined freedom", to be honest. Plus, I've heard a rumour that it's considerably weirder and not at all the video Gavras directed for M.I.A., which features redheads being persecuted and blown up for ten minutes. This fact piques my interest further.

Red Nights
Julien Carbon, Laurent Courtiaud | Hong Kong, China, France
First time directors make it to Midnight Madness with a "pulpy, fetishistic thriller" that's centred around the hunt for a valuable artifact and the staging of a Peking Opera, The Jade Executioner. Giallo-meets-espionage written by the French and taking place in Hong Kong.

The Sleeping Beauty
Catherine Breillat | France
I love "bracing explorations of female mythologies" and I also love Breillat's take on sexuality. I expect her fairy tale story about a young princess and some witches to be as grotesque and brilliant as only she can make it.

Errol Morris | USA
Morris takes on a story about a beauty pageant queen with an IQ of 168, which programmer Thom Powers almost calls too weird to describe in the programme book without spoilers? Count me in.

One honourable mention must definitely go to the conversation between Bruce Springsteen and Edward Norton as part of the Mavericks program (I really love the Boss).

Since that's not technically a film, here are five other titles that I can't wait to see for reasons Jeff has already articulated: 22nd of May, Boxing Gym, Cold Fish, The Last Circus & Super.


Corrina Allen said...

I really like you guys for doing this. Even Jeff.

Jeff said...

Awww. I'm going to just assume/pretend that you texted that comment in, and when you went to type "especially", your phone auto-filled "even".